Although sellers may think a decluttered and relatively clean house will quickly sell at asking price, they are probably mistaken. Savvy buyer’s appetites for turnkey and immaculate homes are stronger than ever.
Today, staging isn’t just the act of adding a few new throw pillows and removing dark curtains. The proliferation of real estate oriented TV shows further fuels the expectations buyers have. They want the ability to envision their lifestyle in the house without the hassle of updates.
The process of selling a home may take months to complete, but the preparation or staging of the house easily starts weeks before the first open house is scheduled.
Use these suggestions as a guide:
1. Start cleaning. Everything. Using a top to bottom method is best in each room. Don’t forget ceilings, baseboards, and overhead fans. Pay special attention to kitchen appliances and bathrooms.
2. Pet hair and odor are deal killers. Professional cleaning for carpets is definitely a plus.
3. Let all the light in. Clean windows, update dark treatments or remove them altogether.
4. Box personal items. If this is difficult sentimentally, try to envision them in your new home which sparks the excitement that comes with moving. Think about packing away small furniture like console and decorative tables. This allows buyers to see more available space.
5. Begin small projects like updating wall color. Find a popular neutral paint and start fixing small holes.
6. Organize closets. If they look overstuffed, buyers assume there isn’t enough storage in the house.
7. Consider refinishing outdated hardware. Cabinets and sink fixtures will shine again with a coat of specialized spray paint.
8. Curb appeal is crucial. A thorough yard update is necessary. Consider hiring a landscape company for a day’s work. Tasks such as raking, mowing, cutting hedges, and removing debris move much more quickly if done by a professional team.
9. Update and clean the porch area and front door. Potted plants, new paint on the door, and a charming mailbox will draw in home shoppers.
10. The foyer area makes the first impression. A well-lit, tastefully decorated, and spotless entry makes or breaks the decision to accept what is beyond the front door.
After the cleaning is done, it’s time to add a few layers of luxury. Buyers want to feel they are getting the most for their money like to see “high-end” touches. Flowers in several rooms, furniture with many pillows, and soft throw blankets help achieve this feel. Bathrooms benefit from an abundance of new, fluffy towels, and bedrooms could use new linens.
A properly staged home sells faster and for more money than a home that hasn’t been attended to. Staging professionals are available for hire to help owners achieve their selling goals. In very competitive markets, using resources such as, the Real Estate Staging Association and the International Association of Home Staging Professionals may provide the competitive the edge.
Stagers have a wealth of knowledge beyond cleaning and small repairs. There is an art to arranging furniture and decorative items to appeal to a mass of buyers. Skilled professionals maximize the return on investment for sellers.
The best and most cost effective advice is simple. Don’t leave cleaning and staging until the last minute! These techniques take time and attention to achieve the best outcome for your home sale.

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